There was still that long, blank, boring wall, though. So, this week I have focused on that as my project.
I have been gathering and collecting photographs. I had some of my two children that I brought when I moved in here. However, I wasn't going to hang photos of my children and not hang pictures of Mike's. So, my mother-in-law loaned me her photo albums and prints and let me scan them. I uploaded the scanned copies to the Hallmark sharing website and ordered enlargements and reprints.
My intent was to find some which would be similar to the shots of my children and hang them all together. That is where the long, blank, boring wall came in. It has become my gallery.
I also started collecting frames which could be hung in a grouping. I gathered them from various dollar stores and our local Goodwill store. At first I began collecting wooden frames. Then, I hit upon the idea of getting as many pairs of frames as I could find and simpling giving them a coat of paint. This turned out to be the best option.
Works in progress.
Of course, I forgot to take before shots of the hodge podge group of frames I collected. However, please know that they were not all that attractive and were scratched and banged up and were hideous colors. People at the stores were looking at me funny as I excitedly pulled out scarred up frames and was barely containing my excitement when I found matching pairs. If they only knew...
I got plastic frames, wooden frames, metal frames, and frames of all sizes. All of them except one pair were purchased for $1.99 or simply ninety-nine cents each. That one pair was a splurge at $2.99 each. At first I tried to simply mask off part of the frame with tape and leave some of the metallic colors showing. Quickly I decided to just take out all the guts - the cardboard and glass - and spray the frames. An inexpensive $2.99 can of glossy, black, spray paint was the ticket.
Because I hung them in the hallway, I had a difficult time getting good pictures for the after shot of this project. I couldn't stand back far enough to get a clear shot of the whole grouping. Here is the look from the left side:
These are shots of Mike's children. I want to get a couple more pictures from my mother-in-law and make duplicates to continue the gallery right up to the ceiling, I think. I'm thinking I need a couple of shots of Mike's children when they were middle-school and high-school aged. I know I've got shots of my children at those ages. I'd also like to get some good pictures of his two granddaughters to add as enlargements of about 8 x 10 size or so.
Here is a shot from the other direction featuring my children. I think the individual shots of all four children were taken at about the same ages - somewhere between three months and a year for one pair and pre-school ages of about three or four for the other pair. Then, I have 8x10s of the two boys and their adorable wives and a 5x7 family grouping of the girls and their families. Again, I need more enlargements of the girls and of their families, I think.
I started by centering a frame given to Mike and I when we married that has a place for two 5x7s or a photo and an invitation or something. It is silver and has "with this ring I thee wed" etched on it. I'm not quite satisfied with that one, yet. I didn't have a couple of pictures which went well together. So, I first tried a shot of each of us. The one I chose of myself seems too close-up to fit with the one I chose of Mike. Then, I also picked one which was taken during our wedding ceremony and shows my profile and Mike's face. I have ordered a different shot of me and a similar shot of the two of us taken where it shows my face and his profile. I'll figure out what works when the next round of reprints gets here. After all, this is something that can be changed out easily by simply taking the frames down and swapping out the photos. We didn't have a formally posed picture made that day and don't really have one of the two of us at all. I guess that is because I tend to be the one making photos when folks come over.
I had adorable individual shots of the granddaughters in 4x6 size. So, they hung above and below our wedding picture frame. Then, I took pictures of our two children where they were posed together. Interestingly, his children's clothing and my children's clothing are similar in style and color and their ages are about the same when the photos were taken. So, they flank the middle grouping. (Notice that these are the frames that I show in the work in progress photo. Don't they look better spray painted?) I added pictures from the princess tea party where all four granddaughters were gathered for a group picture and hung them above that pair. The two silver metal frames are different but somewhat similar in size and shape. There is a space below where another set of 4x6s or 5x7s will fit when I get pictures I like and similar frames that will look good there.
I started off with a level and a yard stick and was trying to make everything just so-so. After a couple of attempts at juggling level, hammer, nails, etc., I gave up on that and simply eye-balled it and kept going. I figure they will be hanging askew and wonky from traffic in the hallway soon enough. So, they are close enough to even and level for me.
I like the look of this long wall now and am thinking that I will add to the grouping and just keep going to ceiling height.
What a blessing it is to have such beautiful children and such a strong and loving family! I'm thankful for them all.